Jessica Sims’ Between a Vamp and a Hard Place is a silly, sexy novel about an antiques dealer who discovers a vampire sleeping in an ancient coffin. Lindsey and her best friend, Gemma, are trying to build their business, and when Gemma gets a lead on an abandoned apartment in Venice, they pack their bags and discover a treasure trove of valuable antiques.
They also discover a vampire, Rand FitzWulf. The ancient Rand wants Lindsey to help him navigate the modern world and defeat his enemies. Lindsey initially finds Rand to be infuriating and—quite frankly—scary, but gradually she finds herself falling in love with him. But can Lindsey build a future with a medieval vampire? And will either of them survive the confrontation with Rand's nemesis?
This book has a fun, light tone even when things are at their worst for Rand and Lindsey. They have a relationship that, given the circumstances, develops somewhat realistically—Rand gradually comes to appreciate Lindsey’s kindness and intelligence, and Lindsey progresses from feeling sorry for the misplaced Rand to truly loving him.
This book is fun urban fantasy—it's not intended to be terribly realistic. It's a well-written story that involves art, gelato, pasta, mayhem and lots and lots of garlic. There's a solid mix of humor and angst, and the reader truly roots for Rand and Lindsey as a couple. While Lindsey is physically outclassed by the vampires, she's a better strategist than Rand, and it's gratifying to see Lindsey and Gemma use their smarts to outwit the enemy. Overall, this novel has a great blend of sisterhood, paranormal menace and romance.